VW customer service is amazingly terrible by any standard (Beechmont VW Cincy OH)
I loved my GTI - for driving not owning. Water pump failure 12,000 miles un-diagnosed engine tick at 24,000 miles that VW would not honor warranty rental reimbursement policy
Service department's complete lack of skill sets with managing their customers concerns with any level of empathy or real concern.
There is so much about this car that I love- performance, handling, comfort, over all design (exterior & interior) BUT I will never buy a VW again and will tell everyone I know to never do so based off my customer service experience with them (while still under warranty which was the scary part to me)
I traded in for a Honda Accord Sport Manual- i miss my turbo, handling and the comfort of the seats on long road trips but I am so happy to no longer have to deal with VW corporate. Oh and no major parts failures with the Honda either!
This car's virtues are pretty universally accepted: Wonderfully smooth and peppy engine, cabin comfort and quality, relatively good fuel economy, roomy rear seats, tight handling. All in all, it is a joy to drive, whether you are on a twisty two-lane road or a long freeway trip. I have the base 4 door with a stick, so I can't join the debate on the merits of the DSG transmission or the stone-age nav. The stick shifts like butter, although in common with some other reviewers I sometimes wish for a taller sixth gear, this engine has plenty of torque and would easily handle lower RPMs in cruise control at freeway speeds. The negatives are pretty well laid out at this point too: Water pump and intake manifold problems, along with general brand image degradation from the diesel scandal. I have been fortunate to get the water pump fixed twice under warranty, the last time with an updated part that is supposed to cure the issue. The telematics are truly two generations behind, with an Applecentric connector cable and Blutooth that never got along with my Samsung phone. I believe the 2016 MkVII has finally introduced new technology more comparable to VW's competitors. Right at delivery I replaced the factory 18" "Detroit" rims (too gaudy anyway) with 17" VW Goal rims off a Passat. These do help the ride quite a bit and I don't drive aggressively enough to notice any loss of cornering response. I highly recommend this modification for anyone buying a used GTI that needs tires.
I have owned my 2013 GTI Autobahn edition for 1 year. Nothing but trouble since I took ownership. The coolant pump failed 3 times, check engine lights pop up every other month due to multiple sensor failures. I have 30,000 miles on the car and I am dumping it like a bad habit for a more reliable vehicle. If you like fixing your car ALOT, buy a GTI. It drives well, but often will have mechanical problems. Update-dumped the GTI, got a Subaru impreza, very happy with the purchase.
I have owned my GTI for 3 years and it has been a pleasure to drive, grips the road beautifully and is very comfortable on long trips. The interior materials, fit and finish are excellent. However, I'm starting to seriously doubt the quality of this car. At 13K miles the cooling pump failed, it was quickly fixed under warranty. In the last month, at 30K miles (mostly highway), my clutch completely failed and was replaced under warranty. I have been driving manual transmissions for the past 20 years and have never had one fail on me, clearly a manufacturing failure. To top it off, last week the cooling pump failed again!!! My dealer charges $750.00 to replace the cooling pump, fortunately it is still under warranty, but an expense likely to be incurred in the future. I have mixed feelings on recommending the GTI. If you can overlook the maintenance and having the car at the shop often, the GTI is an great driving experience. But, if you are looking for something reliable, there are probably better options out there. I will likely trade it for something else.